Gov. Malloy calls for ban on bump stocks sales in CT; CCDL responds

HARTFORD -- Governor Malloy announced Tuesday that he is proposing legislation to ban the purchase and sale of "rate of fire enhancements" to guns in the state. That includes bump stocks, binary trigger systems, and trigger cranks.

Malloy said the proposal will build on Connecticut's common sense and nationally recognized gun reform legislation.

In a statement, Malloy said:

“Bump stocks are cheap, they are deadly, and they have no place in our society. In Connecticut, we refuse to allow federal inaction to endanger the lives of our residents, despite the best efforts of powerful lobbyists from the NRA.  Our state has long been a champion in the fight against gun violence, and today we take a step towards further cementing our reputation as a leader in smart, safe, and commonsense gun reform.”

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said in a statement:

“I don’t think we should wait for more tragedy, for more senseless deaths before we act to protect residents. The Governor’s initiative takes a smart, well-reasoned approach to bump stocks. As state leaders, we should have the courage to pass commonsense, anti-violence legislation to help avoid the types of tragedies that we experienced here in Connecticut and that we see continuing throughout the nation.”

Under Malloy's proposal, possession and sale of those enchancements will result in a Class D felony. Permit holders who possess fire rate enchancements before July 1st, 2020 will recieve an infraction abd be fined $90 for their first offence, and will also be charged with a Class D felondy for any other offense after.

Po Murray, Chairman of the Newtown Action Alliance, said:

“The Las Vegas gunman fired more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition in only 11 minutes, using semi-automatic rifles modified with bump fire stocks designed to dramatically accelerate the rate of gunfire and cause maximum damage. After the heartbreaking Sandy Hook mass shooting incident five years ago, Connecticut passed the second strongest gun laws in the nation under the leadership of Governor Malloy and it is time for Connecticut to act now to lead the nation once again by banning bump stocks and other dangerous accessories to keep our families and communities safe.”

Jeremy Stein, Executive Director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, said:

“We have been very fortunate in Connecticut to have a Governor who has been so supportive with passing commonsense gun laws and instrumental in making Connecticut among the states with the strongest gun laws."

Kara Baekey, Connecticut chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said:

“This commitment from Governor Malloy to ban dangerous accessories like bump stocks is a crucial step in ensuring that tragedies like the Las Vegas mass shooting do not occur in our state. Bump stocks and other dangerous rapid-fire devices allow semi-automatic firearms to approach the firing speeds of machine guns – this is entirely unacceptable.  Connecticut is a national leader on gun violence prevention, and we hope our lawmakers will stand with us and pass a strong piece of legislation to continue that legacy.  The future of our state is on the line.”

However, not everyone is happy about the proposal, saying Connecticut already has punitive bans on the types of firearms that would be used with bump stocks.

Scott Wilson, the President of The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) issued a statement regarding the legislation;

"Lame duck Governor Malloy is not surprisingly going back to the well of gun control yet again, perhaps to distract from his poor approval ratings. It is key that the public be aware the legislation proposed today is simply feel good in nature. The devices in question that Malloy seeks to ban are not needed to replicate the rapid rate of fire. This effect can be easily accomplished by the use of a belt loop, a rubber band, or even just by holding a firearm a certain way. Moreover, the devices themselves can easily be made in a typical basement shop using everyday materials.

Connecticut already has a very punitive ban on the same times of firearms that were used in the Las Vegas mass murder, as well as a magazine capacity limitation to 10 rounds or less. This fact already renders devices such as bump stocks mostly ineffective.

While these devices are not commonly owned by the vast majority of legal gun owners we need to see the language of any bill that comes out to see if there are other ways legal gun owners might be impacted."